The Las Vegas Raiders have locked up franchise quarterback Derek Carr for three more years and avoided the possibility of a free agent bidding war next spring.
On Tuesday, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport was first to report that the Raiders and the three-time Pro Bowler had come to terms on a new long-term deal worth over $120 million.
Derek Carr gets a 3-year extension work $121.5 million
“The Raiders and star QB Derek Carr have agreed to terms on a 3-year contract extension worth $121.5M, source said. The agreement ties Carr to Las Vegas through the 2025 season. He is already the longest-tenured QB in the AFC,” Rapoport wrote on Twitter.
Carr, 31, was set to make almost $20 million this season, which is also the final year of his current deal. Last month, new head coach Josh McDaniels told reporters at the annual league meetings that he hoped the QB and the team could find a “sweet spot” on a new long-term pact. It seems both sides find that middle ground and they will now have their star signal-caller and new acquisition Davante Adams leading the offense through 2025.
Last season, Carr had one of his best years yet. Despite the turmoil of former head coach Jon Gruden resigning early in the season, the team endured and the Fresno State alum threw for a career-high 4,804 yards, and 23 touchdowns for a squad that made the playoffs in 2021.
- Derek Carr stats (2021): 4,804 yards, 23 TDs, 14 INTs, 94.0 rating
Now with Carr’s impending free agency no longer an offseason topic, there are still several other key moves the team could make to improve their chances in 2022 as they head into this month’s draft and voluntary workouts in June.
Draft an offensive lineman with their earliest NFL draft pick
For as well as the Raiders’ offseason has gone in adding All-Pro talents in Adams and EDGE rusher Chandler Jones, they didn’t do much to improve the offensive line. It certainly isn’t a bad group, but it’s far from a proven one. And if this is as good as it gets, they need to get better if they want to keep Carr healthy all the way to 2025.
Unfortunately for the team, they gave up both their first and second-round picks in this month’s draft to land the former Green Bay Packer superstar wide receiver. So they will need to be resourceful with pick 86 in the third round. That’s why we suggested recently in our mock draft that Central Michigan’s Luke Goedeke might be a worthwhile option on day two of the NFL draft on April 29.
Make some cap space and give Melvin Gordon a call
With Carr tossing passes to Adams and last year’s top receiver Hunter Renfrow in 2022, Las Vegas may have one of the most dynamic pass games in the league. Especially, with McDaniels calling the plays. However, the team’s run attack still leaves a lot to be desired. They could once again go with the solid and familiar option in Josh Jacobs, or maybe they could do better.
The running back free-agent pickings are slim currently, but there is a worthwhile player still on the market in Broncos veteran Melvin Gordon. While the Raiders don’t have the money to sign him and their draft picks, they could try and cut a little cap space and add what won’t be an expensive contract to land a player that would certainly improve their backfield production this season.
Las Vegas Raiders need a veteran backup QB
Nick Mullens and Garret Gilbert are currently the Raiders’ backups QBs. Carr has not missed many games during his career, but with him being in his 30s the possibility of an injury that costs him multiple starts is a very real possibility. For a team that plans to compete for the division title and more, they need better options in the off chance their QB has to miss a start or two.
Both Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick are still available and would be an upgrade over Mullens and Gilbert. And give the offense a far better chance to keep on rolling if they had to take regular-season snaps in 2022.